Human information processing is managed by a resource-limited system. For this reason, information in utterances must be packed in a way that prevents it from being lost in decoding. A developmental model of information structure units is proposed according to which Topic-Focus articulation has emerged in order to comply with this constraint. The basic function of Topic and Focus is to instruct the addressee to different attitudes: Focus causes controlled, more effortful processing; Topic automatic, less effortful processing. This model accounts for the well-known restriction on the iteration of Foci in sentences – because cognitive resources for multiple Foci are not available – but it also explains at which conditions can the expression of more new ideas in a single utterance happen with overall bearable costs for the speaker and receiver, thus increasing efficiency in communication.

Edoardo, L.V., & Viviana, M. (2015). COGNITIVE CONSTRAINTS ON THE EMERGENCE OF TOPIC-FOCUS STRUCTURE IN HUMAN COMMUNICATION. In V.G. ALESSANDRA CHIERA (a cura di), IMMAGINE E PENSIERO. BILANCI NELLE SCIENZE COGNITIVE ATTUALI (pp. 180-204).

COGNITIVE CONSTRAINTS ON THE EMERGENCE OF TOPIC-FOCUS STRUCTURE IN HUMAN COMMUNICATION

LOMBARDI VALLAURI, Edoardo;MASIA, VIVIANA
2015

Abstract

Human information processing is managed by a resource-limited system. For this reason, information in utterances must be packed in a way that prevents it from being lost in decoding. A developmental model of information structure units is proposed according to which Topic-Focus articulation has emerged in order to comply with this constraint. The basic function of Topic and Focus is to instruct the addressee to different attitudes: Focus causes controlled, more effortful processing; Topic automatic, less effortful processing. This model accounts for the well-known restriction on the iteration of Foci in sentences – because cognitive resources for multiple Foci are not available – but it also explains at which conditions can the expression of more new ideas in a single utterance happen with overall bearable costs for the speaker and receiver, thus increasing efficiency in communication.
978-88-98138-18-0
Edoardo, L.V., & Viviana, M. (2015). COGNITIVE CONSTRAINTS ON THE EMERGENCE OF TOPIC-FOCUS STRUCTURE IN HUMAN COMMUNICATION. In V.G. ALESSANDRA CHIERA (a cura di), IMMAGINE E PENSIERO. BILANCI NELLE SCIENZE COGNITIVE ATTUALI (pp. 180-204).
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/291529
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact